Super Bowl thoughts:
- The NFL continues to lead the pack when it comes to merchandising the big event. The NFL Experience is flat out a great idea and adds to the already ridiculously high level of hype for the game. Fans coming to the game are happy to have something to do that is related to the game. Residents of the host city and anyone in town that doesn’t have tickets can feel like they experienced (that word again) at least part of the big game’s festivities.
- Entering Raymond James Stadium on the day of the game was kind of like going through the ten longest lines you’ve ever stood in at amusement parks all in one. The seemingly endless maze of back and forth lines went on for at least 30 minutes. Then, we were quickly frisked and on our way to the game.
- The crowd was surprisingly calm and jovial during the line maze game played prior to the game. Steeler fans chanted incessantly and the 17 Cardinal fans were cordial while wondering what the hell was going on. The Arizona faithful had to be thinking: “How did THEY get all the tickets?” Seriously, it seemed at least to be a 10:1 ratio.
- It’s an understatement to say the NFL knows how to put on a show. From the minute you walk into the stadium, you feel the electricity. The evening’s agenda is down to the minute. Faith sings, Jennifer sings, loud ass jets soar over your head, explosions after each score, Springsteen, all kinds of entertainment…and then there’s this football game, too.
- Each seat had a seat cushion with commemorative items and marketing stuff from corporate sponsors inside. All the cushions in our section were wet inside where all the stuff was. Did anyone else have this problem or was it just our section?
- The Raymond James Stadium food vendors/concessions struggled mightily in my estimation. They ran out of pizza at one point in the first half. They ran out of draft beer near halftime so they decided to only offer bottled beer. No problem. Well, actually a little bit of a problem. The bottled beer was warm. The vendors said you could buy a cup and they would put ice in the cup for you to pour your beer into. Comical.
- Tampa did a pretty good job with the traffic prior to the game as thousands of cars traveled with relative ease. Parking also didn’t seem to be an issue and it was fun to drive through the streets near the stadium and see the locals offering parking spaces in their yards. Their enthusiasm was much appreciated and the stadium vendors/concessionaires could have benefited from customer service training provided by these creative parking salespeople. After the game, the traffic also seemed to flow pretty well…although I watched it for a couple of hours while celebrating the Steelers victory.
- Overall, though, the positives far, far, far outweigh the negatives. For example, you might have heard already that the game was somewhat exciting…In the end, it was simply a great experience.